15th parish could impact local football
President of the St Catherine FA Elaine Walker-Brown: I don’t know what will happen, so when we reach that bridge we will cross it.
AS the city of Portmore edges closer to becoming Jamaica’s 15th parish, some of the island’s key football stakeholders have had mixed reactions about the move and are contemplating some of the issues or changes that would be brought about following the passing of the law.
Dennis Chung, general secretary of the Jamaica Football Federation, says that with such a move, a decision will now have to be made on whether a 14th parish football association will be created or have a merger similar to the Kingston and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA) model.
“I think the first thing that comes to mind is that we have the St Catherine parish association that embodies Portmore. So if Portmore becomes a parish by itself, then the major implication is, do you have a 14th parish association, or do you keep them combined like KSAFA? Those are the decisions that will have to be made because obviously, there is an infrastructure that goes with it, so those are things that will have to be deliberated,” said Chung.
President of the St Catherine Football Association Elaine Walker-Brown revealed that she is taking a wait-and-see approach.
“I don’t know what will happen, so when we reach that bridge, we will cross it.“ she said.
President of the Jamaica Football Federation Michael Ricketts, who was cautious in his response, said that when the decision is made public, his administration would act justly and make the necessary changes needed, which includes the possibility of Portmore having its own parish president.
“When and if Portmore becomes a parish, then they now ought to be treated as a parish. So of course we will be looking at how best we can now fit them into what is in our regulation. Portmore could very well have its own parish president or could join with maybe Kingston or St Catherine, but we will be looking at the possible options and ensure that the best one is instituted,” said Ricketts.
Peter Beckford, president of the Edgewater Football Association, said that he, along with various members of his administration, were already in dialogue about the possibility of Portmore becoming a parish.
“We’ve had talks with Portmore becoming a parish, and over the years, we in Portmore have been clamouring for an F.A (Football Association) of our own. Right now, we could stick with St Catherine and then if we see the need to branch off on our own, in Portmore, then we will take up the mandate. When you look at the dynamics, there is a diminished membership of Portmore clubs as there used to be in the region of 20 to 30-plus clubs, but now the number of clubs has gone down, so I don’t know if the fervour is still there,” said Beckford
Discussions to accord Portmore parish status began way back in 2007, but a motion to establish the municipality as the country’s 15th parish was only approved just over a year ago, Tuesday, February 1, 2022, in the House of Representatives.